Medical Advisory Board

The Stiff Person Syndrome Research Foundation has formed a Medical Advisory Board (MAB), led by Chair Dr. Jim Weiss. The purpose of our MAB is to provide expert guidance in planning and leading our programs including SPS research and patient care initiatives. The members have demonstrated a professional dedication to understanding, treating, and curing SPS.

James Weiss, M.D.

Advisory Board Chair

Dr. Jim Weiss recently retired from practicing nephrology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. One of his sons was diagnosed with Stiff Person Syndrome as a young teenager. Both of his children have another rare disorder, Gaucher disease. Jim is a cofounder of a western Pennsylvania organization focused on care for underserved communities.

James Weiss, M.D.

Advisory Board Chair

Dr. Jim Weiss recently retired from practicing nephrology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. One of his sons was diagnosed with Stiff Person Syndrome as a young teenager. Both of his children have another rare disorder, Gaucher disease. Jim is a cofounder of a western Pennsylvania organization focused on care for underserved communities.

Marinos Dalakas, M.D.


Dr. Marinos Dalakas is Professor of Neurology and Director of the Neuromuscular Division at Thomas Jefferson University School of Medicine in Philadelphia. He is Professor of Neurology and Chief of the Neuroimmunology Laboratory in the Department of Pathophysiology at the University of Athens Medical School in Athens, where he has been Emeritus Professor since 2016. Dr. Dalakas is an appointed member in various scientific societies and is a member of the American Neurological Association, the American Academy of Neurology, the European Neurological Society, and the International Society of Greek Neuroscientists, among other professional organizations.

Dr. Dalakas has published widely. His areas of research are broad and include neuroimmunology, neurovirology, immunogenetics, and immunotherapies in neurologic diseases. He has focused on immunopathogenesis of autoimmune neuropathies and myopathies, stiff-person syndrome and autoimmune hyper-excitability CNS disorders, and other autoimmune neurological disorders including multiple sclerosis, myelitis and amyloidosis. He has conducted several controlled clinical trials including the first with intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIg) in autoimmune neurology.

He completed a 3-year fellowship training in neuromuscular diseases at the Medical Neurology Branch of the NINCDS in Bethesda, Maryland and an additional 5-year training in Neuroimmunology/Neurovirology at NINDS. He subsequently served as Chief of the Neuromuscular Diseases Section of the NINDS, NIH, a position he held for 20 years before joining Thomas Jefferson University.

Dr. Dalakas joined The SPSRF Medical Advisory Board in 2022.

Marinos Dalakas, M.D.

Dr. Marinos Dalakas is Professor of Neurology and Director of the Neuromuscular Division at Thomas Jefferson University School of Medicine in Philadelphia. He is Professor of Neurology and Chief of the Neuroimmunology Laboratory in the Department of Pathophysiology at the University of Athens Medical School in Athens, where he has been Emeritus Professor since 2016. Dr. Dalakas is an appointed member in various scientific societies and is a member of the American Neurological Association, the American Academy of Neurology, the European Neurological Society, and the International Society of Greek Neuroscientists, among other professional organizations.
Dr. Dalakas has published widely. His areas of research are broad and include neuroimmunology, neurovirology, immunogenetics, and immunotherapies in neurologic diseases. He has focused on immunopathogenesis of autoimmune neuropathies and myopathies, stiff-person syndrome and autoimmune hyper-excitability CNS disorders, and other autoimmune neurological disorders including multiple sclerosis, myelitis and amyloidosis. He has conducted several controlled clinical trials including the first with intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIg) in autoimmune neurology.
He completed a 3-year fellowship training in neuromuscular diseases at the Medical Neurology Branch of the NINCDS in Bethesda, Maryland and an additional 5-year training in Neuroimmunology/Neurovirology at NINDS. He subsequently served as Chief of the Neuromuscular Diseases Section of the NINDS, NIH, a position he held for 20 years before joining Thomas Jefferson University.
Dr. Dalakas joined The SPSRF Medical Advisory Board in 2022.

Andrew McKeon, M.B., B.Ch., M.D.


Originally from Dublin, Andrew McKeon, M.B., B.Ch., M.D. obtained his medical degree from University College Dublin (2000), undertook internal medicine and neurology training in Ireland, and completed as a fellow in movement disorders and then autoimmune neurology at Mayo Clinic. He became a consultant at Mayo Clinic in 2009, as a joint appointee in the Department of Neurology and the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. He is co-director of the Neuroimmunology Laboratory. He is a professor of neurology and associate professor of laboratory medicine and pathology in Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. He is certified by the American Board of Medical Laboratory Immunology. Dr. McKeon’s research and clinical interests pertain to the evaluation and treatment of patients with autoimmune CNS disorders.

Dr. McKeon joined The SPSRF Medical Advisory Board in 2022.

Andrew McKeon, M.B., B.Ch., M.D.

Originally from Dublin, Andrew McKeon, M.B., B.Ch., M.D. obtained his medical degree from University College Dublin (2000), undertook internal medicine and neurology training in Ireland, and completed as a fellow in movement disorders and then autoimmune neurology at Mayo Clinic. He became a consultant at Mayo Clinic in 2009, as a joint appointee in the Department of Neurology and the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. He is co-director of the Neuroimmunology Laboratory. He is a professor of neurology and associate professor of laboratory medicine and pathology in Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. He is certified by the American Board of Medical Laboratory Immunology. Dr. McKeon’s research and clinical interests pertain to the evaluation and treatment of patients with autoimmune CNS disorders.

Dr. McKeon joined The SPSRF Medical Advisory Board in 2022.

Scott Newsome, D.O.

Dr. Scott Newsome specializes in the care of patients with neuroimmunological and neuroinflammatory disorders of the central nervous system with a special interest in evaluating and treating patients with Stiff Person Syndrome. Dr. Newsome works within the division of Neuroimmunology and Neuroinfectious diseases at Johns Hopkins Hospital and is currently the Director of the Johns Hopkins Neurosciences Consultation and Infusion Center, the Stiff Person Syndrome Center, and the Co-Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Experimental Therapeutics Program.

Dr. Newsome received his medical degree with honors from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, and then completed his internship in internal medicine and residency in neurology at Albany Medical Center where he was awarded the Golden Apple Outstanding Resident Teaching Award and selected to be chief resident. He subsequently completed a fellowship in neuroimmunology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital with the support of a Sylvia Lawry Physician Fellowship from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Dr. Newsome joined The SPSRF Medical Advisory Board in 2022.

Scott Newsome, D.O.

Dr. Scott Newsome specializes in the care of patients with neuroimmunological and neuroinflammatory disorders of the central nervous system with a special interest in evaluating and treating patients with Stiff Person Syndrome. Dr. Newsome works within the division of Neuroimmunology and Neuroinfectious diseases at Johns Hopkins Hospital and is currently the Director of the Johns Hopkins Neurosciences Consultation and Infusion Center, the Stiff Person Syndrome Center, and the Co-Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Experimental Therapeutics Program.

Dr. Newsome received his medical degree with honors from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, and then completed his internship in internal medicine and residency in neurology at Albany Medical Center where he was awarded the Golden Apple Outstanding Resident Teaching Award and selected to be chief resident. He subsequently completed a fellowship in neuroimmunology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital with the support of a Sylvia Lawry Physician Fellowship from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Dr. Newsome joined The SPSRF Medical Advisory Board in 2022.